A Backyard Fence

The day to start the long drive to Mississippi is coming up fast. The moving trailer is packed except for a few furniture items still in my office. The trailer is scheduled to be picked up on Monday, December 28th. We begin our journey to Mississippi on Friday, January 1st.

I cannot help but spend some time on this dreary Seattle Saturday thinking about my new backyard fence. Lucky for me, my 20yo son is a budding carpenter! He has been informally apprenticing with our neighbor, who worked for years building sets for the Seattle Opera and the 5th Avenue Theatre. As a result, my son’s fence-building skills are excellent and he will drive down with me to build a backyard fence for my heart dog, Justice.

Given that I will get my backyard fence sooner rather than later, I have been looking at various “farmhouse fences” and learning a lot. So far, I have two leading favorite designs and one possible (albeit unlikely) third option. Ideally the fence will:

  • Fit the architectural and visual style of the farmhouse and the property. This one is not my wheelhouse. While I know what I like, I do not know the full range of possibilities to consider. I don’t even know what the architectural style of the farmhouse is!
  • Be relatively simple and inexpensive to construct. For the house in Seattle, my son and neighbor built us a gorgeous hogwire fence. It is a highly engineered fence with lots that went into building each panel. I love that fence but don’t plan to recreate something as complicated for the farmhouse.
  • Keep any dogs, including smaller dogs or puppies, inside the fence. What I am not sure about is whether I need to include anything more than the fence itself to keep other creatures OUT of the backyard (e.g., including a wire mesh along one side). For now, keeping other creatures out is not a requirement, but the ability to add some mesh to the final design is a definite bonus.


Post and rail fencing. This type of fencing is simple to construct and beautiful. Different looks are easy to achieve by using 3-, 4- or 5- rails and varying the size of the rails and the space left between them. I am particularly interested in the possibility of staining the fence black, as I think it would look gorgeous against the farmhouse. That being said, white is always a solid choice.

Cross and buck fencing. I adore the diagonals of cross and buck fencing, and there are a number of different variations you can achieve using combinations of how the vertical boards are arranged, whether the posts are covered by capping boards, where the post caps are placed, and so on. The first version below is my favorite, as the capping boards create a super clean look, but I enjoy them all.

Picket fencing. This is a third option and not one that I will likely end up constructing but it seems to me to go with the style of the home. The other bonus of picket fencing is that you can design it to showcase flowering vines and flowers. That being said, it is a bit too intricate for my overall taste and I am unlikely to “pick it” (hahahahaha, that was awful).

Which style of fence is your favorite? What do you think would look the best as a backyard fence for the farmhouse below (picture below is where the backyard fence will go)?

Published by thefemfarmer

Born in Chicago, grew up in Mississippi, and raised a family in Seattle. Coming back home to MS for part of the year to work on our new farm and spend time with my father. These are my voyages.

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